Sandy Berman sent me a copy of a letter he mailed to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, dated January 30, 2011. I though others might enjoy reading it, too.
Egypt. So far you folks have been ludicrously tone deaf. People in the street are not demanding a new cabinet and "reforms." They are explicit: DOWN WITH MUBARAK! But you seem unable to understand, much less support, that unmistakable reality. Instead, you prattle about "national dialogue" and how everyone should behave with due decorum and that the President should engage with the rebels. Whoa! There's an honest-to-god revolution underway. Police have vanished. Protesters embrace the army, which refuses to enforce a curfew. There IS no Mubarak government any longer. And it's about time we recognized that elemental fact. The U.S. right now looks "out of it," like fools still committed to our 30-year-long buddy whose own people despise him. This week we're suddenly declaring that human rights should be respected, but for 30 years we've been subsidizing an oppressive, authoritarian regime with more than a billion dollars a year--without much insistence on democracy and free speech and fair elections (until this week).
Please get it right. Face it. Mubarak's finished. Stop all military aid. Let the Egyptians decide their own future without hypocritical lectures from us.